5 Imperatives of Agile Project Management

By Michelle Symonds

A quick Internet search on the most important aspects of project management will yield millions of results. Some people say there are eight factors whilst others say there are 4. Essentially most of them make the same points, but due to their corporate image or brand, they say them in very different ways. Here we will take a look at the main points and see if we can break them down into a more succinct list free from corporate connotations.

  1. Is friendliness enough?Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships is a crucial factor in continued efficiency. Things don’t always go smoothly, if you have effective working relationships with those around you then any obstacles can be overcome much quicker.

    A high level of honesty and mutual respect allows you to correct mistakes, improve weaknesses, and interact effectively without upsetting the dynamic of the team. Building this ‘fine tuning’ mentality into the core ethos of the group will create an inherent flexibility that promotes teamwork, cooperation, and communication.

  2. Motivate, energise, or simply kick up the bum

    Long gone are the days where your pay packet was your primary source of motivation. Modern project managers must use all the resources at their disposal to create a pleasant, positive and productive working environment. Why? Simply put, happy employees are more productive.

    Learning to keep those around you energised, excited, and engaged will ensure you maintain not only the productivity required, but also the quality of the output. Another big advantage of a positive working environment is the ability to attract the best talent. All these factors must be combined in proportions that suit your workplace, simply energising a team but not focusing the energy effectively will end up being counterproductive.

  3. Can your paperweight double as a crystal ball?

    An effective project manager must always have focus. To maintain this focus in an ever-changing environment can be challenging, however, keeping up to date with all relevant developments will help ensure you are at least aware of all the options available. Consistently picking the best option can prove harder.

    Some project managers seem to possess a sixth sense or intuition; in reality they are very effective at absorbing and filtering the information they receive. This information is combined with experience and industry knowledge to greatly increase the chances of it being the correct decision. You must then be able to translate this into a clearly defined executable goal which you and your team can work towards.

  4. Lead by example

    We have all heard employees having a moan about their boss. To avoid this ‘us and them’ mindset creeping in you must lead by example. Maintain as much transparency and accountability as possible. This will create more of a team environment with an element of solidarity amongst the whole group. Holding yourself to a higher standard will help to promote the ethical behavior of all team members.

  5. Can you deliver?

    This is perhaps the most important of all aspects and can be simply summarised as:

    • Establishing productive relationships
    • Energise and engage your team
    • Stay ahead of the curve
    • Inspire honesty, integrity, and transparency
    • Incorporate agility into strategies.

Longer-term decisions will be made based on the effectiveness of the project management framework you implement now. This means the ability to quickly adapt systems, operational procedures, and the group dynamic, will stand you in good stead. Perhaps a harder skill for a project manager to master than changing these things is recognising when they need to be changed. This adaptability will keep productivity levels high and ensure project success.

Michelle Symonds is a qualified PRINCE2 Project Manager and believes that the right project management training can transform a good project manager into a great project manager and is essential for a successful outcome to any project.

There is a wide range of formal and informal training courses now available that include online learning and podcasts as well as more traditional classroom courses from organizations such as Parallel Project Training.

Article source: http://www.pmhut.com/5-imperatives-of-agile-project-management

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